A Wanderlust 108 Diary: An Unforgettable Day

Are you planning to attend a Wanderlust 108 in London this year? To pre-register early bird tickets, click here.

The first 108 event of 2019 has come and gone, starting a year of mindful triathlons scattered around the world. With spring in the northern hemisphere, San Diego, California was without a doubt the perfect place to dust off our running shoes and get some tan lines after winter. Our travel mats, sunglasses and passports are now within reach and we’re looking at this year’s Jet-Setting 108 calendar of events around the globe.

I’ve been to a handful of three day festivals, even though these were my first 108. And I’ll tell you a secret: I was a little nervous. I am not a runner. I wasn’t worried about the distance itself, just the whole “group run” thing. likely an unsuspecting beginner will feel the same way during a vinyasa class.

When I arrived I felt at home straight away. The mood that morning was no different from your conventional race. Instead of nerves and competition, it was happiness and growing enthusiasm. There were bright colors, curated costumes, bachelorette parties, couples doing “few goals” -worthy things, acro yoga exhibits, people dancing, meditating, handstands … you name it. It all happened. The 5K timer had yet to start, but the celebration together had started.

Photo by Kit Karzen

After mats had been laid and hats had been put on, our MC entered the stage and gathered us in a group to warm up. There was music. There was attitude. And – you’d better believe it – there were ghost fingers. After all, this was wanderlust. With charisma in bottles and sights to enjoy, we set off.

While running, I got a look back at elementary school. We used to call these things “fun runs”. But trust me on this point: you can’t just slap a title on something and expect it to be fun. However, this was a fun run! There were solo runners, friends old and new jogging together, and mothers and daughters walking together. Regardless of your style, speed, or choice of companionship, you were just as part of it as the person next to you. And you rocked it.

The forecast had threatened rain earlier in the week, although the sun must have heard that there was wanderlust in the city. She came to play with good reason. It was with such enthusiasm that I wished for shorts halfway through the run. A little retail therapy about the coolest conscious brands put up around the lawn aptly scratched that itch. As if the sun noticed that it was a little enthusiastic that morning (it was early spring after all), an afternoon breeze picked up in time for yoga.

Chelsey Korus teaches on stage with arms raised

Photo by Kit Karzen

Our yoga teacher, Chelsey Korus, led a practice that was the perfect blend of fellowship, self-expression and unleashing your inner wilderness. My favorite moment in class happened during a break in Uttanasana – a standing forward fold. Chelsey said something like, “If it wasn’t yours to wear, now is the time to put it down.” Right there in that forward crease, she urged us to slide it off our shoulders, down our necks, and out of the crown of our heads. Her words were reminiscent of a poem by Nejwa Zabian: “You should only climb these mountains that you carry.” Her sentence stayed with me and these loads slid silently onto my mat.

Rosie Acosta’s mediation followed. It was the perfect bookend for an energetic morning run and detox yoga practice. This offer for the third leg was profound. It was a moment to deviate from the collective energy and return to our individual centers, but still with the tangible support of the surrounding community.

With a hum on the coast and a gentle sea breeze, I couldn’t quite forget where we were – and I was happy about it. Gratitude came over me, accompanied by the spring sun.

People teaching meditation on stage

Photo by Kit Karzen

A friend once told me that she has the feeling that there is a string hanging from her heart that connects her with special people she has met from all over the world. In an abstract sense, I think this is what wanderlust is. Strangers appear side by side; They celebrate community, exercise, self-exploration, and connection. They become family. This is when the strings are forged. And they get excited as we roll our mats and make our way home.

As the 108s continue to spread around the world this year, these vibrant strings – which weave a wide, colorful tapestry that envelops the globe – will become as uniquely beautiful as the people at either end.

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Kacey Janeen Waxler is a California-based yoga teacher and writer looking for adventure and good stories. Their words can be found under notable brands like Corona Extra, Athleta, and Darling Magazine, and in the flesh you can read them unapologetically from the glow of a spotlight, peek out over the sequencing, or deep down your neck in a deliciously hot bath. Follow her adventures on @kaceyjaneen or kaceyjaneen.com.

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